‘If BJP Wins, Labour Laws Won’t Survive’: AICCTU Releases Charter of Workers’ Demands Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls
The demands include increasing minimum wages to Rs 26,000, generation of dignified employment opportunities, proper survey of all factories and more.
“Agar Bhartiya Janta Party phir se chunav me jeet gai to labour laws nahi bachne wala. Abhi to lagu karne ki samsaya hai. Wo lad kar liya jaa sakta hai (If the BJP comes back to power, then labour laws won’t survive. Right now, it’s only an implementation problem and we can fight for that),” said Abhishek, general secretary of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Delhi while releasing a charter for industrial workers of Delhi at Indian Women’s Press Crops on Tuesday afternoon.
Abhishek pledged to oust the Narendra Modi-led BJP government that has, as per him, destroyed every labour law in the name of “ease of doing business”. Job security and employment are being ended through “reforms” such as Fixed-term employment, NEEM — National Employability Enhance Mission and NETAP — National Employment Through Apprenticeship Programme.
Santosh Roy, President of AICCTU Delhi, too addressed the press conference along with advocate Surya Prakash and Shweta Raj, Secretary of AICCTU Delhi.
Roy spoke about the exploitation of mazdoors under the Modi government that allows factory owners to loot the hard-earned money of the workers. The entire government machinery, per Roy, has been deployed for the protection of rioters and those inciting violence. He appealed to mainstream political parties to engage trade unions unlike the BJP, which only engages with the Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh — the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wing for workers — and urged them to include policies for the betterment of the workers.
Prakash presented a survey that he along with other law students of the University of Delhi has conducted. The survey revealed that 90 per cent of the factories in the national capital region violate the Minimum Wage Act, the Factory, EPF & MP Act and the ESI Act in broad daylight.
Speaking to NewsCentral24x7 Shweta Raj said, “Achhe din ke naam par chand logon ke achhe din laane wali sarkaar hai ye. Labour reform ke naam par sare anti-worker laws laaye gaye. Hum is charter ke madhayam se ye baat satta me baithe logon ko batlana chahte hain ke working class dhram-jaat ke naam bantne wali rajneeti ke khilaaf khada hai (Only a few have benefited from ‘Achhe Din’. This government has brought in all sorts of anti-worker policies under the garb of labour reforms. Through this charter, we want to tell the ruling class that the working class stands against sectarian and caste politics).”
The demands put in the charter are as follows:
– An immediate end to the politics of hate and violence. All people/parties engaging in fanning communal violence must be punished as per the laws of the land.
– The generation of dignified employment opportunities through policy level changes, by putting an end to contractualisation, filling of all government posts and creation of new jobs.
– Control price-rise and make affordable and quality housing, transportation, health and education facilities accessible to all workers. Stop house-rent escalation and roll back Delhi Metro fare hikes. Lower the prices of LPG cylinder, petrol-diesel and CNG.
– The anti-worker revisions in labour laws like Fixed-term employment, NEEM and NETAP must be immediately withdrawn.
– Time-bound implementation of notified minimum wages in all industrial areas of Delhi, and increasing the minimum wages to Rs 26,000 per month.
– A proper survey of all factories should be done, and a database prepared for all industrial areas, detailing the number of different kinds of workers engaged in the respective establishments.
– Compulsory registration of Trade Unions within 45 days of application, punishment for factory owners engaging in union-busting and victimisation of union activists. Stop attacks on union rights and make laws to ensure important recognition of unions by all factory owners.
– Regular meetings of the officials/concerned minister(s) with Trade Unions to ensure the betterment of workers.
– Strengthening of Labour Department offices, immediate recruitment of inspectors and prompt disposal of cases of labour law violations.
– Worker-friendly and corruption free labour department.
– Strict enforcement of labour laws, and amendments to increase penal provisions in existing laws.
– Women workers be given equal employment opportunities and pay. And an end to all discriminatory rules and behaviour that women workers are subjected to, as well as stopping sexual harassment at the workplace as per Vishakha Guidelines.
– Stop harassment of migrant workers, make policy to ensure proper rights and dignity to all workers. Strictly implement laws meant for the welfare of migrant workers.